Orchestrator of Storms: The Fantastique World of Jean Rollin
Orchestrator of Storms: The Fantastique World of Jean Rollin tells the story of one of Eurocult cinema’s most singular voices. Deeply misunderstood and widely misrepresented, during his decades-long career as a film director (1958-2009), Rollin’s work received absolutely no recognition in his native country of France, and was completely unknown anywhere else. In the nineties, because of home video, Rollin attained a marginal cult status in niche English speaking genre circles. Otherwise he has remained completely obscure.
Rollin was raised within the bosom of some of France’s most influential and intellectual elites, thanks to his mother Denise’s friendship with figures such as Maurice Blanchot, George Bataille, Jean Cocteau, as well as Jacques and Pierre Prévert.Similarly his father was a director in avant garde theatre, exposing Jean to some of France’s most interesting aspects of culture. It is perhaps not surprising that when it came to making his films, Jean Rollin’s were unlike anything else on the scene.
Once you dig into the director’s life and passions, what emerges is a strong connection to the French surrealists, to symbolist art, to the poetry of TristanCorbière, to the French anarchist scene in the sixties, and counterculture. Orchestrator of Storms: The Fantastique World of Jean Rollin sets out to tell this story in an attempt to elevate the director’s work by exploring it in depth alongside these major influences, as well as other key themes such as the tradition of the French Fantastique. The film also looks at his frustrations, the way in which he had to constantly grapple and scramble for funding as one of the only filmmakers predominantly working within the horror genre through the sixties and seventies. Most importantly, it examines his singular vision, one that ran completely counter to other western traditions in genre film.
The project began life on more modest terms, but after working very closely with Jean’s family, including his surviving son Serge, and close family friend Véronique D-Travers, it became apparent there was a far deeper and richer story to tell. A story of struggle that led to the filmmaker falling into poverty and ill health in his later years, one in which he was never understood or given the credit he was due during his own lifetime, where he was forced to constantly battle to make the films he wanted to make. Filmmakers Dima Ballin and Kat Ellinger hope to change that in presenting Jean’s story as never seen before, with the help of some of his key collaborators, close friends, and experts in both film and cultural history, as well as those responsible for ensuring his work never completely fell out of sight.
"Orchestrator of Storms isn’t “formally revolutionary,” but should prove to be “deeply engrossing for any fan of the artier end of horror,”"
~ Letterboxd (Best of Fantasia 2022)
"...a long overdue examination of the works of French filmmaker Jean Rollin."
~ Voices From The Balcony
Directed, Written & Produced by Dima Ballin and Kat Ellinger
Editor & Art Director: Dima Ballin
Audio Engineering: Dima Ballin, Ryan Jordan
Executive Producer: Francesco Simeoni
Associate Producers: Kier-La Janisse, Jonathan Zaurin
Interviews Conducted and Filmed by Cedric Fontana, Ray C. Loyd, Jonathan Zaurin
Additional Footage: Pelle Felsch
Original Music by Tornado Victory
Narrated by: Ayvianna Snow
Voice of Jean Rollin: Benoît Carry
Featuring: Howard S. Berger, David Hinds, Kier-La Janisse, Brigitte Lahaie, Madeleine Le Despencer, Françoise Pascal, Jeremy Richey, Virginie Selavy, Véronique D-Travers, Nigel Wingrove
Archive: Christophe Bier, Ashley Fester, Neil Jackson, Kier-La Janisse, John Raffell, Jeremy Richey, Pete Tombs, Véronique D-Travers
Special Thanks to Daniel Bird, Arnaud Bordas, Stéphane Bouyer, Guillaume Le Disez, Serge Rollin, Pete Tombs, Véronique D-Travers, Nigel Wingrove
Color, 1080p HD Widescreen (1.77:1)
DTS HD Master Audio
Orchestrator of Storms: The Fantastique World of Jean Rollin © 2022 Diabolique Films. All rights reserved.